YOU’RE BETTER OFF KNOWING
by Marc Bhalla, Editor, Condovoice Magazine
It takes a special person to join a condominium Board. Someone willing to take on responsibility and spend their time serving others. Someone willing to make a contribution to a greater good.
The commitment can come with challenges, however. Difficult decisions sometimes need to be made that will not please everyone.
Directors left to fend for themselves are at a disadvantage. They risk wasting time and energies, making decisions that negatively impact their entire community or, worse, attracting personal liability to themselves for their volunteer efforts!
While we know where a road of good intentions can lead, directors who understand condominiums – including the limits of their own knowledge with respect to them – are in a better position to guide their communities in the right direction.
Pam Churchill first joined a condominium Board of Directors back in the 1970s, realizing early on the importance of being knowledgeable. In her current position, serving on the Board of MTCC 595, Pam expressed there is an expectation for directors to take courses offered by the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) and stated “we have all found them very, very helpful.” A new director on Pam’s Board constantly quotes from the CCI courses he has attended.
Leslie Shernofsky of MTCC 792 is nearing the end of his first term on a condo Board. He found CCI courses and seminars to be of great help as he settled into his role. As a first time director, Les signed up for all of CCI’s educational offerings and found them to be “phenomenal”.
Shernofsky speaks highly of course instructors and the wealth of real life experience they draw upon to provide guidance as well as the course materials, which he found to be a handy reference afterwards. Les believes that condominiums making the investment into education will end up saving their communities money in the long run.
Informed condominium directors not only benefit the owners and residents through smarter decision making; their understanding of their role and the roles of others involved in the operation of the community can ensure that everyone is on the same page and participating appropriately.
Clayton Lockhurst, a property manager at FirstService Residential, enjoys working with educated directors. Clayton says “having an educated board makes my life as a manager easier as it provides appreciation for my role and understanding of basic requirements, which saves time in meetings by not having to always explain why we need to perform certain processes.”
Murray Johnson, RCM and Vice President of Client Service Development at Brookfield Condominium Services, believes that condominiums run by informed Boards make more intelligent decisions. “Directors who take the CCI educational courses almost always make better decisions.”, says the popular Your Condo Connection video series host. “They seem to have a much higher comfort level with even the most uncomfortable directives. This is the result of a better understanding of the best governance practices learned from the many courses and special presentations.”
CCI’s educational offerings equip the special people who volunteer their time to serve as condominium directors with the tools and knowledge to succeed.